The Obama Labor Department announced yesterday a new regulation that mandates that home health care workers be subject to the federal minimum wage and federal time-and-a-half overtime requirements. Reporting the story for the Reuters news wire, correspondent Amanda Becker hailed the move, noting that newly sworn-in Labor Secretary Thomas Perez was "setting an assertive tone" with the regulation. "Today we are taking an important step toward guaranteeing that these professionals receive the wage protections they deserve while protecting the right of individuals to live at home," Becker quoted Perez as exulting.
Nowhere in her 18-paragraph story -- which I found published on page A20 of the September 18 Washington Post -- did Becker turn to critics of the new regulation, which is not slated to go into effect until January 1, 2015, after the crucial 2014 midterm elections. By contrast, Wall Street Journal reporters Melanie Trottman and Kris Maher gave their readers both sides of the story in their September 18 front-pager, "Regulators Boost Wages, Overtime for Health Aides." Indeed, Trottman and Maher wasted no time noting there are two sides to the policy argument, mentioning objections by "some business officials" in their lead paragraph (emphases mine):
American kids are woefully behind the curve when it comes to courses of study in the STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math] fields, liberals love to tell us. To prepare our kids for success in a global economy, we need more federal involvement in education, they argue.
But heaven forbid the U.S. military be part of that solution, that might lead to a "militarization of young minds." "In its rush to find the next generation of cyberwarriors, the military has begun to infiltrate our high schools and even our middle schools, blurring the line between education and recruitment," Baruch College English professor Corey Mead groused in his September 17 blog post for Time magazine's Ideas blog headlined "Military Recruiters Have Gone Too Far." Mead pointed to "[t]he Air Force, for example," which "runs a 'CyberPatriot' national high school cyberdefense competition, geared toward influencing students to pursue careers in cybersecurity." He continues:
Another left-wing scribe on the Post payroll? Actually, no, that's all from the pen of Jennifer Rubin, who's supposed to be the paper's conservative opinion blogger, but who often takes to her blog to slam other conservatives. Rubin's second charge, that Cuccinelli is absurdly playing the victim, illustrates that she may not really read that much of the newspaper which employs her. As I noted yesterday, Terry McAuliffe did NOT come off smelling likes roses in the Post's page B1 story about McAuliffe-supporting Democrats pushing TechPAC to reverse their endorsement of Cuccinelli for Virginia governor.
Today is Constitution Day marking the close 226 years ago of the constitutional convention in Philadelphia. Yet when it comes to constitutional rights, the Washington Post prefers those read into it the document by judicial activists on the Supreme Court over those plainly written in the text of the federal charter. Witness today's editorial page, which both pushes for more gun control, ostensibly to save lives, while blasting the Commonwealth of Virginia's new abortion clinic regulations, which make abortions rarer and hence, well, save lives.
"Will this latest massacre move Americans to more than sorrow?" the Post editorial board asked in the subheadline of their pro-gun control editorial, "Regret, reloaded." "Everything was supposed to change after a man with a semiautomatic weapon mowed down 20 elementary school children in their classrooms last December. But for the politicians, nothing changed," the Post groused.
In a 66-paragraph masterpiece, Journal reporters Adam Entous, Janet Hook, and Carol Lee gave a behind-the-scenes look of how, "Through mixed messages, miscalculations, and an 11th-hour break, the U.S. stumbled into an international crisis and then stumbled out of it." Among other things disclosed, "The same day [Secretary of State John] Kerry made his fateful remark" that Syria could simply give up its weapons to the international community, "the State Department sent Congress a memo detailing: 'Russian Obstruction of Actions on Syria.'" It really is a great exploration of the Keystone Kops nature of the Obama team's bungling of Syrian foreign policy. Here's a taste (emphasis mine):
Faux conservative David Frum proved his usefulness to the liberal media yet again this afternoon with his calls for more gun control in the wake of the deadly Washington Navy Yard shooting this morning.
The former George W. Bush speechwriter -- he coined the "axis of evil" -- couldn't wait to post his item headlined "Let's Not Wait to Talk About Gun Control." It was published to the Daily Beast's site at 3:10 p.m. Eastern and is item #2 in the lightbox as of time of this blog's publication (see screen capture below).
"The pressure" over the weekend from Virginia Democrats for a northern Virginia business group to reverse its gubernatorial endorsement decision and back Terry McAuliffe was "hot and heavy," in the words of Dendy Young, whose political action committee TechPAC -- the political arm of the Northern Virginia Technology Council -- voted by secret ballot on Thursday to endorse Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) in the state's governor's race. What's more, in an email State Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) threatened payback, saying the Senate Democratic caucus would "be frigid" and that "doors will be closed" as a result of the PAC's move.
A story like this is an excellent front-page-worthy scoop. It most certainly would be on the Washington Post's front-page were the tables turned and it was Republicans playing hardball with a group whose endorsement it sought but lost during a close gubernatorial election. But alas, Post editors shuffled the story to page B1, the front of the Metro section, while opting to run a story critical of the Republican candidate -- "Cuccinelli plays down immigration in Va. race" -- on page A1.
Prominently displayed on the BuzzFeed front page as I write this (3:00 p.m. Eastern) is a headline blaring "How The NRA Twitter Handles A Mass Shooting: Silence." The accompanying thumbnail shows the NRA's initials overlaid on an American flag, with the word "fail" in a yellow dot on the upper left-hand corner. "The model is to go silent for at least a day, depending on the scope of the tragedy," notes the subheadline.
The article itself, written by Andrew Kaczynski, is from December 16, 2012, two days after the Newtown shooting. It was updated this morning to note the following, "Sept. 16, 2013, Washington D.C. Navy Yard Shooting: One Day (And Counting) Without Tweeting." Kaczynski followed that with an embed featuring the last tweet from the NRA's account, from September 15.
The liberal Washington Post editorial board is no fan of recall elections. They opposed the effort to unseat Scott Walker and they similarly don't care much for the successful effort in Colorado this past Tuesday to recall two anti-gun Democratic state senators. Following both recall elections, the Post issued op-eds expressing their objection to recalls.
But this time around the editorial board was more adamant about the evils of the recall, insisting that "[s]tates should examine their laws with an eye toward heightening the barriers" to tossing elected officials out before their terms expire. "Recalls are rare, but their use is on the rise," the editorial board whined in their September 13 piece, "Government by recall." One culprit, the Post carped, was "nationalization of local issues, which prompts huge flows of outside money into state politics."
But rather than see a problem with the liberal media-Democratic administration revolving door, Jacobs's story was decidedly matter-of-fact. Indeed, he portrayed it more as the president "reaching out to journalists" rather than servile liberal scribes clamoring to jump aboard the Obama train and being received happily by the administration. What's more, as an excuse that "both sides do it," Jacobs closed by noting that the late Tony Snow is an example of the politics-journalism revolving door being a centuries-old bipartisan tradition:
While the liberal media predictably focus on the domestic political ramifications for President Obama as regards his strange and ever-evolving policy on Syria, the real story worth reporting is how Obama may actually be strengthening Bashar Assad's hand, even making him "a national hero" who can not only survive but thrive as a result.
In her September 12 front-page story "Syrian Rebels Hurt By Delay," The Wall Street Journal's Nour Malas has an excellent story to that effect. Filing from Istanbul, she quotes Mohammmed al-Daher, "a commander in the rebels' Western backed Free Syria Army" as lamenting that he "wouldn't be surprised if the end result of these negotiations is that [Assad] remains as president and beyond that, turns into a national hero who saved his country." Malas continued (emphasis mine):
Updated below page break | Shepard Smith is losing his 7 p.m. Eastern Fox Report slot, but will gain the post of managing editor of the network's breaking news division, Mediaite is reporting. Presumably this opens that time slot for Sean Hannity, who is losing his 9 p.m. slot to Megyn Kelly.
To lift themselves out of poverty, developing nations would do well to pursue a free market economic model. What's more, free markets are actually biblically justifiable and ultimately of greatest moral and material benefit to human beings compared with centrally-planned or socialistic models. In other words, there is a Christian case for free markets and free enterprise. That's the argument put forward by theologian Wayne Grudem and economist Barry Asmus in their brand new book, The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution, available on Amazon here.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Grudem about his book last Thursday over the phone. You can listen to the full interview below the page break:
While, "clearly, Esquire did not mean to do this on purpose," it seems the magazine is not exactly falling over itself with effusive apologies. "The magazine tweeted out that the image was due to a 'stupid technical glitch.' They kinda-sorta 'apologized' for any confusion," Kirell noted, embedding the magazine's apology:
One does not simply destroy a nation's cache of chemical weapons. It's actually a rather complicated and expensive endeavor, despite how neat and simple the president's acolytes seem to be making it out to be. In fact, the United States government is decades into the process of eliminating American chemical weapons. What's more, the U.S. government is six years past its previous 2007 deadline -- not to mention 19 years past the initial 1994 deadline -- for 100 percent compliance.
Mark Thompson of Time magazine has a great piece today on "How To Destroy Syria’s Chemical Weapons" in which he looks at the painstakingly detailed logistical and cost considerations of eliminating a nation's stockpile of chemical weapons. Here's an excerpt (emphases mine):
She's not had the chance to read the book of course, but The Daily Beast's Michelle Cottle took to her keyboard on Tuesday to slam Rush Limbaugh for daring to publish his forthcoming children's book Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims. Cottle denounced the conservative radio host as a "degenerate rodeo clown" and compared buying one's child a copy of the book to letting "Howard Stern come in to lead your preschooler’s circle time." [Wait, she realizes Howard Stern is one of the four judges on a popular family-friendly talent program on NBC, right?]
"I am hoping to be surprised. Often, political types court kids as a way to soften their image," Cottle insisted, before continuing her venom-laced screed headlined, "Rush Limbaugh Has No Business Teaching History to Our Kids." "That said, I’m not holding my breath," Cottle huffed. "And, no matter how diluted the story’s ideological rhetoric, it’s already clear that it will be, at its core, a crass and pompous mixture of self-marketing and self-mythologization. (“Rush Revere”? The man should be reading children’s books, not writing them.)" Cottle groused, concluding:
The liberal website Talking Points Memo [see screen capture below] is accepting and running advertisements for a company called Freak Flags, a California outfit which creates flags designed like the U.S. flag but with the stars in the canton pushed off the side of the blue field, while symbols like the Star of David, Christian cross, or the U.S. dollar sign are emblazoned in the center. The idea of each is a left-wing critique of those who "put Israel first" or "put Jesus first" or "put Wall St. first," respectively.
But a review of the company's website's blog reveals some anti-Semitic rantings regarding the president's call for airstrikes in Syria.
As the Virginia governor's race heats up in the Washington Post's backyard, the liberal broadsheet is doing its best to skew coverage in a favorable manner for liberal Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a former DNC chief and longtime friend of the Clintons.
An excellent contrast that illustrate's the paper's bias is how it has handled the back-to-back defections of Republican strategist Boyd Marcus and Democratic activist David "Mudcat" Saunders. The former is backing McAuliffe and the latter is endorsing Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. The Post devoted stories to both men's decisions to buck the party line, but staff writer Laura Vozzella had a considerably longer piece on the front page of Metro which painted Marcus's move as a harbinger of a deeper GOP party split. [RELATED: check out my colleague Rich Noyes's study on Virginia newspapers slanting towards McAuliffe]
As I've noted before, all it takes for a liberal to detest business-stifling regulation is for that said regulation to infringe on the Left's most sacred cow: abortion.
Readers of The Daily Beast were witness to that Monday with Michelle Goldberg's September 9 Women of the World blog post, "The Triumph of Bureaucracy Over Abortion Rights." But Goldberg was not merely lamenting regulation of abortion clinics but how "boredom has become a powerful weapon" with "the anti-abortion movement has been making epochal advances using regulations that are as tedious to read about as they are to describe":
When it comes to light that a prominent liberal Democrat has committed a series of sexual transgressions, there are two typical responses from media outlets: ignore the story and hope it goes away or spin it as best as they possibly can. The latter approach typically involves either highlighting how said politician and his wife are grappling with rebuilding their marriage and family or by virtually lamenting the emotional turmoil suffered by the adulterous pol as a result of his inability to control himself.
A textbook example of the latter was dutifully provided by Time magazine's Dan Kedmey in a September 9 post Swampland blog post headlined, "Report: In a Secret Journal, RFKJr. Records a Painful Struggle With 'Lust Demons.'"Kedmey picked up on a New York Post exclusive about a journal purportedly kept by Kennedy in which, "[o]n the days he resisted the temptation to have an affair, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. marked the occasion in his secret journal with a one-word exaltation: “Victory!” But on the days of defeat, the ink really began to flow across the page." Kedmey continued (emphasis mine):
In Wednesday's Wall Street Journal, Stephen Moore had an excellent op-ed about how the Obama economy was hurting the president's political base the most.
The next day, Journal reporter Julie Jargon shed light on an IRS rule change which will adversely affect waiters and waitresses throughout America by judging tips earned as a result of an "automatic gratuity" to be a "service charge" that is subject to payroll and income tax withholding, not tips that are cashed out for the waiter's benefit at the end of his or her shift.
In another victory for life, the Iowa Board of Medicine voted today to ban so-called telemed abortions. Those are medical abortion procedures prescribed remotely often by the use of Internet teleconferencing software.
Reporting on the latest unemployment reports by the U.S. government, ABCNews's Facebook page curiously left out the most newsworthy statistic: 63.2 percent. That's where the labor force participation rate stands right now. [see screen capture below the page break] It's the lowest it's been since 1978.
But here's how ABCNews's social media editors teased Facebook visitors:
President Obama's push for military action against the Assad regime in Syria has some die-hard Obama acolytes at MSNBC finally speaking out against the president. "Even with Chris Matthews, the Obamagasm is gone," cracked Sean Hannity last night. Does "the love story [end] here?" he asked NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell on the September 5 program's "Media Mash" segment.
Not so fast, Bozell reminded Hannity, as Matthews quickly returned to form and slammed Republicans for their opposition to military action in Syria. "Obama knows he's in trouble when even Chris Matthews criticizes him.... But isn't it interesting that one day later, Chris Matthews went into his usual rant, calling anyone who disagreed with President Obama a hater?" [watch the full segment below the page break]
MSNBC hosts are skeptical if not downright opposed in principle to President Obama's push to bomb Syria, but the MSNBC.com Facebook page is doing its level best to present President Obama in a favorable light, complete with photo memes of the president adorned with quotes related to his Syria policy. [see screen captures below page break]
On September 1, the day after President Obama announced he was going to seek congressional approval, MSNBC Facebook page editors posted a photo of the president emblazoned with the following quote:
In case you missed it, new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani has proven his "moderate" credentials to Time magazine [see screen capture below page break]. How so, you might ask? Well, a tweet from (what purports to be) his account yesterday, which reads, "As the sun is about to set here in #Tehran I wish all Jews, especially Iranian Jews, a blessed Rosh Hashanah. pic.twitter.com/tmaf84x7UR"
The Washington Post is reliably liberal on just about every major political issue. But there are exceptions, and its stand for school vouchers programs as a way to lift disadvantaged kids out of a failing public school monopoly is one of them.
So it's not too surprising that the paper devoted an editorial on Monday to criticizing the Obama/Holder Justice Department for a lawsuit it's filed that is putting a halt -- temporarily at least -- to school vouchers in Louisiana. Even so, the newspaper has dropped the ball on bringing the public's attention to the underlying story. Aside from the September 2 editorial, the paper has virtually ignored the development in its news pages, with the only mention of the underlying controversy being reported in the August 25 paper in a national news roundup. Here's that item -- an AP brief -- in its totality:
"For years, police officers in North Carolina had a choice when it came to confiscated guns. They could use them for law enforcement purposes—training, testing, examining—or they could destroy them," Daily Beast writer Jamelle Bouie noted in a post to the website on Wednesday.
But now, thanks to "a new law... passed by Republican lawmakers in the state," that's changed. Now, "Police officers can still use confiscated guns, but as of this week, they can’t destroy them," Bouie groused in his September 4 post, going on later in his piece to whine about how the bill is evidence of an almost religious devotion to guns by conservatives. Left completely out of his story, however, was any note that nearly all the state senate's Democrats and a majority of Democratic state representatives backed the so-called Save the Gun law, Senate Bill 443.
She probably doesn't realize it, but Michelle Goldberg just proved conservatives' point about Planned Parenthood: Donors from the private sector are more than capable to finance the abortion-providing non-profit group.
In a brief segment on the September 3 edition of Now with Alex Wagner, the MSNBC program's host revel in how Republican Wyoming Senate candidate Liz Cheney has supposedly "contort[ed]" herself into an "ideological pretzel." But if you listen closely to the 2009 soundbite that Wagner thinks illustrates that Cheney has flip-flopped on the issue of same-sex marriage, it actually underscores no change in position on her views.
What's more, as I explain towards the end of this post, it seems MSNBC is once again guilty of selectively editing, with the target this time being former Vice President Dick Cheney. [listen to MP3 of segment here; video embed follows page break]